Our pick for start ups: Brex 30 Card
Up to $150,000
In value from partner offers
- Easy-to-use charge card
- No personal guarantee required
- $0 annual fee for first five cards
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Updated . What changed?
Running a startup is never easy. You’re juggling multiple priorities at any given moment — including, of course, your company’s finances.
A business credit card can be your best friend for covering last-minute expenses and there are lots of cards that cater to startups. But watch for cards that require personal guarantees: in the event of delinquency, you’ll be on the hook for company debt and your personal credit may be affected.
There are many business cards on the market, but it’s likely only a few offer benefits that meet your specific needs. Here are a few of our top picks.
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Welcome offer||Up to $150,000 worth of credits and offers for business services like Amazon Web Services, Slack, Zoom, Google Ads and more|
|Rewards||7x points on rideshares, 4x on Brex Travel, 3x at restaurants, 2x on software subscriptions and 1x points on all other purchases|
|Purchase APR||15.99% to 20.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||15.99% to 20.99% variable|
|Welcome offer||100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months|
|Rewards||3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases|
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)|
|Welcome offer||$500 after spending $4,500 in the first 150 days|
|Rewards||3% cash back on gas, cell phone services, and office supply stores and 1% back on all other purchases|
|Purchase APR||26.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||26.99% variable|
|Rewards||1% cash back on all purchases|
|Annual Fee||$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)|
|Purchase APR||20.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||20.99% variable|
|Welcome offer||$500 after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months|
|Rewards||2% cash back on all purchases|
|Purchase APR||15.15% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Rewards||1.5% cash back on all purchases|
We measure a few different factors when comparing available credit cards for startup businesses, including credit score requirements, introductory APRs, reward programs, points or cash back earned per dollar, reward earning categories signup bonuses and other added perks particularly beneficial to startups. The cards we highlight demonstrated exemplary performance in one or more of these categories.
Our list stood relatively stable this year, with most cards maintaining strong performance and remaining top picks in their respective categories.
Your startup’s finances can be simplified with the right credit card. Here’s what to consider to choose the right one:
There are plenty of benefits to using a business card instead of a personal card. A business card can help you separate your personal spending from your business spending. While it may be tempting to rely on your personal credit card for business expenses — especially when you’re just starting out — this can have several unintended consequences. For example, separating your personal spending from your business spending can help you easily differentiate expenses and sort deductions come tax season.
Plus, a separate credit card for your business helps protect your personal assets if your business is incorporated and you find yourself facing a lawsuit. And even if your business isn’t entirely official, a business card offers other perks too:
Yes. In fact, freelancers and private contractors are eligible for business credit cards as long as they can prove their income.
While different card providers have different eligibility criteria, you should be prepared to offer the following information when you apply for a business credit card:
What’s suitable for your business in its infancy may not work long-term — especially if your business experiences rapid growth or a sudden change in trajectory. One reason you may want to consider swapping card providers is if your business has outgrown your current card’s credit limit. Or perhaps your business checking account is stationed with another bank and there are perks or incentives for combining your accounts.
A practical way to evaluate whether your current card serves the needs of your company is by reviewing your business expenses and spending habits. Does your current card offer perks and rewards that benefit your business? Would it be possible to snag a lower APR by switching providers?
Just because a particular card worked for your startup doesn’t mean it will continue to work for your business two, three, five or ten years down the road. The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Here’s a quick side-by-side look at some of the cashback business cards available.
Your startup faces unique challenges, which some cards can address more effectively than others. Business cards are tailor-made to help you overcome challenges related to your business. If you don’t have a business credit history or if you have bad credit, compare cards for no credit.
If you’d like to compare more products, visit our guide on business credit cards.
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